Skip to main content
Vanderbilt Background Photo

2019-2020 Incoming Student Guide

Welcome to Vanderbilt! Below are topics that will ease your transition to graduate school.

Important Events and Deadlines

Orientation Events:

  • August 13–19: International Student Orientation – contact ISSS for information
  • August 14: Teaching Assistant Orientation – Register
  • August 19: Graduate School Orientation 9:45 am - 1 pm  – Register (mandatory)
  • August 22: First Day of Classes

Important Deadlines:


New Graduate Student Information

  1. Transcripts, GRE, and TOEFL Records. Please note that your admission is contingent upon Vanderbilt’s Office of the University Registrar receiving an official and final transcript with all previously earned degree(s) posted.  Also, Vanderbilt must electronically receive your official GRE and TOEFL scores from Educational Testing Service, or in lieu of TOEFL, official IELTS scores from International English Language Testing System.  These items must be received by Vanderbilt no later than August  31, 2019. How to submit your Transcript, GRE, and TOEFL records.

  2. Graduate School Orientation 2019. Mandatory Graduate School Orientation will be held Monday, August 19 9:45 am to 1 pm in the Student Life Center. Please register.

  3. Registration. Consult with your advisor and department and then register through YES (Your Enrollment Services - Vanderbilt's Online enrollment system).

  4. Vanderbilt ID Card. You can obtain a Vanderbilt ID from the Card Services Office. Bring a Photo ID! Please try to pick up your ID before Graduate Student Orientation for faster check-in!

  5. Finances. Notification of charges posted by August 1st will be sent electronically. Payment is due August 31st for any charges not covered by departmental grants, awards, and/or financial aid. Payments can be made online through the Office of Student Accounts. Throughout your stay at Vanderbilt charges for parking permits, traffic fines, overdue books, etc. will be posted to this account. Please check it regularly to avoid late fees.
    Note: All students must complete and submit at Student Account Agreement Form regardless of funding found in the YES portal.

  6. Health Insurance. All Graduate School students who are registered for four or more credit hours, or who are actively enrolled in research courses that are designated as full-time enrollment, are required to be covered by health insurance. Students must be covered by either (a) the Vanderbilt Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan or (b) a policy of the student’s choice that provides comparable coverage. Information about Vanderbilt’s 12-month student insurance policy is available at the Gallagher Student Insurance Website.

    Your student account will be automatically billed an insurance fee of $3,650.00 for the Vanderbilt policy (one half of the premium will be billed along with your tuition and other fees at the beginning of each semester). If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and you already have comparable health coverage for the coming year, you must request a waiver from the Vanderbilt insurance plan no later than August 1, 2019 by going to the Gallagher Student Insurance Website. You will receive a confirmation by e-mail upon submitting the online waiver form, which is the only accepted process for waiving coverage. International students are required to enroll in the Vanderbilt Student Health Insurance Plan and may not waive with alternative coverage.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you withdraw or leave the University at any time or for any reason after enrolling in the Vanderbilt insurance plan, you will still be covered and you will still be responsible for payment of the premium for the full 12 months of coverage, through August 11, 2020. If you do not complete the online waiver by August 1, 2019, you will be automatically enrolled for a 12-month policy and you will be responsible for the insurance premium, which you must pay in two equal installments (in August and December).

  7. International Students. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States you should have received an International Student Financial Statement from International Student and Scholar Services. The University cannot issue a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) to be used to apply for a visa to enter the United States until the International Student Financial Statement has been satisfactorily completed and returned to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

    New International Student Orientation for graduate and professional students will begin on Monday, August 12, 2019 and will end on Saturday, August 17. Check-In will start at 8:00 a.m. in the Student Life Center. For more information, please see this website.  Prior to your arrival, please complete the items on the following checklist, which includes completing the Pre-Arrival Form and registering for a mandatory Immigration Check-In session if you will be arriving before or after August 13. For questions regarding orientation, contact ISSS at or (615) 322-2753.

    If you are receiving a graduate research or teaching assistantship or a stipend from Vanderbilt you must complete a Glacier profile, to create an international tax record. Your employer will request access on your behalf to Vanderbilt’s international tax system by completing the online form which is available in the Glacier database. For students, the answer is ‘NO’ to the “Are you requesting a PHN (placeholder number)?” question. The PHN & Glacier access request form is available at here.

    You will receive an email with Glacier access instructions from Please contact the Vanderbilt International Tax Office (ITO) with any questions you have regarding the Glacier software,

    International Students who obtain on-campus employment or who will also work as a Graduate Research or Teaching Assistant should speak with their hiring department about the employment forms that must be completed.

  8. Form I-9. All Vanderbilt students who will be employed by the university must complete federal form I-9 on or before the first day of work for pay. Steps to complete the I-9: Submit a request to receive the I9, fill out Section 1 which you will receive by email from prior to your first day, on or before your first day go to the HR office with the proper documents to finish the I-9.

  9. Medical Information. Please complete the Graduate Immunization Requirements Form as soon as possible. This must be submitted by May 15. See page 5 of the form for submission instructions.

  10. Disability Services. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please contact the Student Access Services Center, 110 21st Avenue South, at (615) 343-9727.

  11. Email. Email Services are provided to all students at Vanderbilt. You will receive an email from with instructions for activating your VUnet ID and email. See the Vanderbilt IT website for support.

  12. Housing. On-campus housing for Vanderbilt graduate and professional students is presently unavailable and incoming graduate students cannot be accommodated in on-campus housing facilities. If you are interested in locating private, off-campus apartments or rooms, please refer to Vanderbilt’s Off-campus Referral Service. This website includes listings from landlords looking for tenants, as well as from students looking for roommates.

  13. Parking. Parking permits are required for motor vehicles parked on campus at any time. Please request your virtual permit online or if you would like to set up monthly recurring charges you may go in person to the VUPS Parking Services office located at 2800 Vanderbilt Place.

  14. Transfer Credit. If you intend to transfer graduate credit from a previously attended institution, your Vanderbilt department or program must submit a formal request to the Graduate School, as described in the Graduate School Catalog  (see page 33). Some departments do not process transfer credits until after the successful completion of at least one semester of coursework.

  15. Teaching Assistant Orientation. To assist new Teaching Assistants (TA) as they prepare for their duties, the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching is offering its annual Teaching Assistant Orientation on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Please register for this event no later than Friday, August 9, 2019. For more information and to register for the orientation, please see the CFT website.

    Incoming international graduate students who are not native speakers of English or who have not completed a baccalaureate degree at an institution where English is the principal language of instruction should plan to undergo a language evaluation, particularly if they will be a teaching assistant during the 2019-20 academic year. Please see the following website for more information.

  16. Academic Calendars. See the University Academic Calendar and the Graduate School Academic Calendar

  17. FAFSA Application. If necessary see the FAFSA Application here.

  18. Getting Around. Maps of: Nashville; Vanderbilt campus; hotels; restaurants; shopping . All Vanderbilt students have access to the Nashville WeGo buses for free with thier VUID.

  19. Student Services. Exhaustive list of resources of all students, Student Services

Sent to new incoming students in May 2019, the Incoming Student Orientation Letter gathers the information above into one document. 

The 2018-2019 New Student Orientation Program provides an overview of student services, organizations, and centers with basic description and contact information.  (2019-2020 Orientation Program available in August)


Questions?  Contact Information

For general questions, please contact the Graduate School.

To contact your academic program office, please click here.